Despite the uncertainties around COVID-19, many employees found the shift to remote work to be a welcome change from the in-office routine. However, for other people, the downsides of remote work became apparent as weeks moved into months and months into a year.
Many people are finding themselves working late at night and on weekends. Burnout quickly becomes a reality when staffing levels are cut and workloads are increased: According to a 2021 survey by Deloitte, “Workplace Burnout Survey” 77% of employees have experienced burnout.
The good news is that burnout is preventable. Employee engagement is one important component. Employees that are engaged are happier and more productive. Greater resiliency benefits the organization as well. However, effective tools and consistent efforts are required to keep staff engaged, reduce burnout, and ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals.
Here are a few strategies that firms can take to reduce burnout, increase employee engagement, and build their organization’s resiliency.
Foster better communication
Understanding employees’ perspectives, difficulties, and organizational and managerial perceptions require communication. It should not be reduced to a once-a-year assessment. In a hybrid work environment, where employees may feel as if they are working in a vacuum, more frequency and consistency are especially vital. Communicate with employees and ensure that staff members can connect with one another through all accessible channels to avoid the mental health difficulties that can arise from isolation.
One-on-one meetings focused on progress and goals, as well as small chat groups and meet-ups like virtual lunchrooms or happy hours, are all communication touchstones. They can create camaraderie, provide a place to unwind, minimize loneliness, and help organizations to rapidly identify employees who are having difficulties. This can assist them in addressing situations before they go out of hand.
Downtime should be encouraged
Many organizations are short-staffed as a result of the “great resignation.” While it may be tough to redistribute work and meet demand, downtime should be factored in. Businesses should make it clear to employees that they are free to take breaks, personal days, or vacations as needed.
Furthermore, companies should clarify their typical working hours and encourage staff to turn off their phones and laptops while they are not on the clock. Employees will be more likely to delineate their professional and personal life if they recognize their right to do so.
Many businesses are implementing flexible PTO policies that allow employees to take time off as needed. Even a few short breaks throughout the day might help employees feel better and be more productive. Organizations should make it clear that when on vacation, team members are not expected to check their email. Find someone to cover for them if they are really necessary. They will be well-rested and ready to work when they return.
Invest in collaboration-enhancing tools
“Employees don’t quit because of lousy jobs; they quit because of bad managers.” Retention requires high levels of engagement and communication. Employees who have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and are supported in them are more likely to be invested in the organization’s goals.
Productivity, knowledge sharing, and collaboration are all aided by employee engagement and performance management technology. Since both in-office and remote employees will receive important coaching and feedback, engagement will bridge the apparent gap between them, better connecting individual and team objectives to the organization’s most strategic priorities.
Businesses can either use technology to their advantage or let it govern them. They should make a commitment to preventing employee burnout. These suggestions can help firms increase employee engagement, improve mental health efforts, and improve employee and organizational well-being.